The Campbell Soup Company says that it will close its Etobicoke plant, resulting in the elimination of about 380 jobs.

The plant, which is located on Birmingham Street, first opened in 1931.

In a news release issued on Wednesday, the company said that it made the decision to close the plant following a review of its manufacturing operations.

The company says that it will continue to operate the plant for up to 18 months while closing it in phases.

“After a thorough review, we decided this was the best course of action for our business. We are operating in an increasingly challenging environment as our industry's consumer and retail landscapes continue to change dramatically,” Mark Alexander, who is the Campbell Soup Company’s president of Simple Meals and Beverages for the Americas, said in the release. This decision in no way reflects on the talent or dedication of our team at our Toronto facility, and we are committed to assisting them through this difficult transition.”

The Etobicoke facility actually employs about 600 people; however about 200 of those people work in commercial operations at the Campbell Soup Company’s Canadian headquarters, which will be relocated elsewhere in the Greater Toronto Area.

In the release, the company said that “site selection” is already underway to find a new location in the GTA.

Meanwhile, the company says that employees who are laid off due to the closure of the plant will receive “severance packages that recognize their commitment and service” as well as access to “career counseling.”

“Campbell will also host job fairs and provide on-site financial planning workshops, among other benefits, to assist employees with the transition,” the release states.

Tory calls news heartbreaking

In the release, the company said that the Etobicoke plant is one of the oldest in its network and therefor “cannot be retrofit in a way that is competitively viable.”

News of the closure, however, may still come as a surprise to many longtime employees.

In a statement, Mayor John Tory said Campbells’s “employed generations of residents in Etobicoke-Lakeshore.”

"I know today's news is heartbreaking for the hundreds of employees who work at Campbell Canada's Toronto plant,” he said. “On behalf of the people of Toronto, I want to extend sympathy and support to all those who will be personally affected by this closure. The loss of any jobs in our city is tragic – that's why we work so hard to attract businesses and jobs to Toronto.”

Tory said that he did reach out to Campbell Canada President Ana Dominguez on Wednesday to “offer her any and all help” in assisting the employees affected by the closure.

He said that he also “made it clear” that he believes Campbell’s planned Canadian headquarters should be located in Toronto and not elsewhere in the region.